Monday, August 30, 2010

Tag, I'm It!

Ooh, the lovely Nicole has tagged me! I am required to answer 8 questions about myself then make up 8 new questions to torture 8 of you with! What fun!

Here goes...

1. If you were allowed to only read one book for the rest of your life - what would you choose? Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

2. Imagine you are on death row, and it's time to pick your last meal - what would it be? Grilled lobster, roasted asparagus, baked potato with butter, French bread, Key Lime Pie

3. If you had to do it again (or do it for the first time) - what type of wedding would you have?? Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing..except the outcomes of the marriages..groan..

4. If you could live anywhere in the world - where would you choose and what type of dwelling would you live in? I have traveled so little that I don't know for sure but I certainly wouldn't turn down a castle in Italy!

5. What are your thoughts on organized religion? Been there, done that. Now I choose to "worship" in my own way

6. Describe your most embarrassing moment! the time when a very hunky co-worker of my then-husband came to our house to do a plumbing repair..and found the cause of the toilet back-up to be a..umm...feminine hygiene product. *blush* OMG, I wanted to die!

7. What are you most proud of? My three amazing daughters

8. Finally... who would be your arch nemesis and why?? I really don't have any enemies per say, at least not that I know of, but I'm not a big fan of Beren's ex at the moment. I wouldn't mind if she disappeared off the face of the earth right about now.

Ok, here goes..I'm tagging the following fabulous bloggers:

50 Pounds and a New Life
Responsibility 199
Almost Gastric Bypass
Big Girl Bombshell
Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit
When I grow up I'm going to be a pin-up girl
Julie Lost and Found

And here are the questions for you:

1. What is the biggest change you've made that's helped you succeed in your weight loss efforts?

2. What's your toughest temptation?

3. What program are you following? (WW, South Beach, etc)

4. Who has been your biggest fan and supporter?

5. Any naysayers who've attempted to sabotage your efforts?

6. Do you have a favorite "legal" food that helps keep you on track?

7. How do you see your life changing once you reach goal?

8. What's your dream outfit once you get to goal? You know we all have one! :)

Make sure to tag friends!`

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cracking the Whip


I love women, I really do. I love a nice long girlfriend lunch over Cosmos followed by retail therapy at Macy's. Over the years my girlfriends have shared every one of life's milestones, good and bad, have been there to celebrate as well as mourn with me. One of them, my best friend Jersey, literally saved my life after my divorce. So, yes, I adore my women friends and can't imagine my life without them. However, I also need at least one good man friend. Men are so different as friends; they can be brutally honest, have a no-bullshit attitude and little tolerance for the drama we women so often feed upon. They don't get bent out of shape if they don't hear from you for a while, they are spontaneous and fun-loving, less judgmental and basically just don't give a shit about the silly things we women obsess over day & night. It's refreshing. I find myself able to reveal parts of myself to guy friends that I would never dare do so with women for fear of being judged, perhaps rightly so. Sometimes I don't want to be dissected, I don't want to talk things out til the wee hours of the morning. I just want to sit back with a (light) beer and relax! This is where My Men come in.

Usually these are guys who are otherwise committed so there's no chance of it turning romantic, or we simply aren't attracted to each other, or, they are ex-boyfriends who just make better friends than lovers!For example, I have recently run into any old flame from high school, at Italian cutie who was an absolute sweetheart, treated me like a princess..but the timing was wrong. As Franco says, I already belonged to someone else (uh, that would be Beren) heart & soul and he simply didn't have a chance. But now, from the "safety" of his happily-married life many miles away, we have been able to reconnect on a totally different level, and I am enjoying the hell out of it! While Franco is sensitive, warm & caring, bright & witty and fun, he is still a man..and that, my dears, brings a whole different element to the friendship!

Why am I telling you all this and what does it have to do with weight loss? Because in the sea of fabulous women bloggers who are so supportive of each other, who take that girl-talk into cyberspace, who allow me to bitch & rant & whine and sit right there next to me, nodding and holding my hand, there's another genre of bloggers popping up as well: The Men. Lately I've noticed a surge of male bloggers writing about their weight loss efforts, diligently recording their failures & successes in a way completely different than we women do, and they are fabulous! Honest and funny and often irreverent, these guys have me mesmerized with their words. I sit here howling with laughter, cheering them on, in awe of these big men who are brave enough to get down & dirty with us girls, revealing their struggles with their own body issues in a forum where they are indeed the minority. It's awesome!

Having said that, I've also noticed something different about the male bloggers: they bring that no-nonsense, brutally honest attitude into the blogosphere. While they are incredibly encouraging and supportive of their fellow weight watchin' friends, they also don't hesitate to give a good swift kick in the ass when necessary. Allan is a perfect example of this. He doesn't hesitate to use tough love when he thinks it's necessary and though I myself have been been a "victim" of his wrath, I probably deserve it and would take my punishment willingly. Some of my other favorite guys, Misunderstood and Admired?? Patrick, Mark & Jack, also provide a unique and fresh perspective and I look forward to their posts each day.

Lately I've been turning to my guys more so than my lady friends, in cyber-space as well as real life, because I think I need a big manly dose of reality. I have been screwing around with this weight for so long now and though my girlfriends aren't saying anything, I can feel the frustration coming from the man corner. I know they're dying to give me a big dose of macho advice, would love to tell me to quit my bitchin' and just do something already! Am I right, Allan? *wink*

So, today, even without the kick in the ass, I'm getting freaking serious. Really. No more excuses, no more dawdling. I know, I know, I've said it before and I wouldn't blame you for rolling your eyes and smirking. But I am serious, enough so that I'm going to ask the boys for a favor: If I start to falter, if I come here whining and making excuses, I want you to dole out some of that tough love, ok? Kick me in the ass, crack that whatever necessary to keep me on track. I can take it, I promise.

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lady Luck, Where Are You?


Those of you who read my other blog will understand why this is one of the weeks when there was no freakin' way I was going to lose weight. With everything going on in my life, I honestly didn't even try. Last night I was at a bar, decompressing with a nice glass of chardonnay and some good music when I smelled french fries. I looked at Beren and without a word he put in the order. The two of us devoured the whole huge basket and I don't feel an ounce of remorse. I know, one shouldn't turn to food for comfort..blah..blah...but I do so mindfully, with a purpose, enjoyed every bite of the hot & salty goodness...and then I moved on! I don't want french fries again today; in fact, after a week of hellish chaos I'm looking forward to some structure in my life, even if the only way I find it is in my diet.

I'll be spending today cleaning & running errands, attempting to gain some control over one other area of my life, am going to throw this stew into the slowcooker & look forward to a nice dinner at the end of a productive day. Yep, I'm declaring today to be peaceful, stress-free and productive..did you hear that, Universe?

Chef Meg's Slow Cooker Provencal Chicken and Beans

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24 oz boneless -- skinless chicken breast
1 yellow bell pepper -- diced
1 red bell pepper -- diced
1 can cannellini beans -- (16 oz) drained and rinsed
1 can petite diced tomatoes with basil and oregano or any style of canned tomatoes -- (14.5 oz )
1 dash salt
1 dash black pepper
2 t dried basil
1 t dried thyme

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker, stir and cover with lid; cook on low heat for 7 hours. If you are running late, the mixture will hold for 8 hours, so don't rush.
Makes 6 one cup servings.

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 129 Calories; trace Fat (3.1% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 52mg Sodium.

NOTES : Makes 6 1-cup servings

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Best Birthday Gift!

Today is my 46th Birthday.  Whew. I can't believe it! Where did the time go? I feel like I'm about 25 most of the time, and then I look in the mirror and am surprised to see otherwise! Who is this chubby middle-aged woman staring back at me?!

Last year my birthday was all about celebrating, and all about getting through the first such occasion without my mom.  This year, although I am sure I'll participate in my share of festivities, is more somber.  I am on the other side of 40 now, the half-century mark not that far away.  I remember my mom's 50th birthday very well. She and my dad had (temporarily) separated and she used that experience to make a life-altering change: she picked up and moved back to Ohio.  Got an apartment, a great job, and a couple of boyfriends.  *grin*  I had never seen her so happy! What happened from there is a long story, but the point is that at 50 years old she was beautiful & vibrant, not to mention trim & healthy. I look at the pictures of her at that age longingly..I want to look that good in four years!

Not just for vanity's sake, but for my health.  Mom had quit smoking then and though it didn't last long, we were all encouraged.  I wonder if she hadn't started again, would it have made a difference? Would she have lived longer? Would the lung cancer not have taken hold of her? We'll never know.  What I do know is that while I'm not a smoker, I grapple with my own demon every single day.  Mine just happens to come in the form of food, not nicotine, and it's having an adverse affect on my appearance and my health. If I want to be around for another 50 years or so, I need to take action now, before it's too late. 

So, here's the plan.  I weigh 173 pounds today.  I want to weigh 130.  That's 43 pounds I need to drop.  Since there are 52 weeks in a year, if I lose a pound a week I will be well below goal by my 47th birthday. Allowing for a couple of weeks where I might not lose, this is a completely do-able goal and I will achieve it.  I promise myself, standing here this time next year I will be thinner and healthier. 

What better gift could I possibly give myself?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cleaning Up

Al Leslie

Loki and I went for our morning walk again today, 4 days in a row. While that doesn't sound like much, it's starting to become a habit which is a very good thing!

I'm eating mostly clean, still fighting some night time cravings for munchies but doing my best to avoid that nasty white stuff!

I'm going to try a new recipe tonight using Quinoa, an ingredient I've never cooked with before. Anyone out there experienced with the stuff? What can I expect?

Cumin Quinoa with Chickpeas & Scallions

Quinoa is one of the most versatile superstar grains on the market. Fun to work with and easier with experience, quinoa is the Marlon Brando of food staples.

By Aida Mollenkamp
Serves 4 to 6


* 2 cups quinoa
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 3/4 tsp ground cumin
* 1 medium shallot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
* 2 tsp kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning, divided
* 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
* 2 cups cooked chickpeas
* 6 medium scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
* 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1 tsp lemon zest
* Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste


1. Rinse quinoa and drain. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. When it shimmers, add cumin and cook until fragrant. Add shallots, season to taste with additional salt and cook until just soft. Add quinoa and stir frequently until moisture evaporates and it makes a popping noise, about 5 minutes.

2. Add broth and 2 tsp salt, stir briefly and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa absorbs liquid and grains are tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients until well combined, season well with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


* Calories: 320
* Total Fat: 8 g
* Sat. Fat: 1 g
* Carbs: 50 g
* Fiber: 7 g
* Sugars: 3 g
* Protein: 15 g
* Sodium: 910 mg
* Cholesterol: 0 mg

Off to work, hope you all have a Beauty-Full Day!

30 minute neighborhood walk - Appx 132 calories burned

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Like Me or Not

"Like It Or Not"

You can call me a sinner
You can call me a saint
Celebrate me for who I am
Dislike me for what I ain't

Put me up on a pedestal
Or drag me down in the dirt
Sticks and stones will break my bones
But your names will never hurt

I'll be the garden
You be the snake
All of my fruit is yours to take
Better the devil that you know
Your love for me will grow

This is who I am
You can
Like it or not
You can
Love me or leave me
Cus I'm never gonna stop
No no

Deviating a little bit from the pin-ups today...I was listening to this song during my walk this morning and was really inspired by the lyrics. The older I get the more self-confidence I acquire, despite the weight & aging issues, and the less caring I am of what other people think. Very empowering indeed! Leave it to another Leo to put into words exactly what I'm feeling as I approach my 46th birthday.

P.S. In case you don't recognize it, the image above is Lilith (another kick-ass lady) by John Collier. One of my favorite works of art, love the serpent!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Edward Runci

Can you believe how freakin' hot this summer has been? As much fun as I've had in my pool and on the beach, I'm really looking forward to some cooler weather which may be a while for us.

Beren and I took Loki on a 30-minute walk yesterday morning, by the time we got home all of our tongues were hanging out! Loki and I did the same thing this morning before sunrise, much more pleasant at that time of the day.

Since summer fruit is still in abundance, might as well take advantage of it!

Here's a delicious recipe from Clean Eating Magazine:

Coconut Chicken with Pineapple-Strawberry Salsa

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1/4 cup light coconut milk
1/3 cup light coconut milk -- divided
4 scallions -- white & green parts separated & thinly sliced, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups fresh pineapple -- peeled, cored and diced
8 ounces strawberries -- cut into pieces
5 ounces mixed greens

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup coconut milk with white parts of scallions, salt and pepper. Add chicken and let marinate at room temperature, uncovered, for 30 minutes (or cover and refrigerate overnight).

In another large bowl, combine remaining 1/3 cup coconut milk with green parts of scallions. Stir in pineapple and strawberries. Set aside or, if not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (This mixture can be made 1 day ahead).

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. When pan is very hot, add chicken and grill for 5 to 7 minutes per side, until cooked through or a thermometer registers 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.

Divide chicken and greens evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with a quarter of Pineapple-Strawberry Salsa and serve.

"Try the warm-weather flavors of coconut, pineapple and strawberry over marinated grilled chicken for a seemingly endless summer."
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Serves 4. Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 213 Calories; 4g Fat (15.5% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 18g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 213mg Sodium.

NOTES : Serving size= 4 oz chicken, 1/2 cup fruit salsa, 1-3/4 oz mixed greens

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Sunday, August 15, 2010



Sorry I've been a bit quiet this week, dear readers. We had a serious situation with one of my beloved kitties on Wednesday night and that has consumed me. She is okay now, recovering nicely, but I was quite worried for a couple of days and I admit that cooking and diet were at the bottom of my list! I'm pretty sure I existed solely on bagels, coffee, wine and frozen pizza that Beren prepared. Far from "clean" but it kept me stable. Funny thing is, I seemed to have lost the 2 pounds I was gaining/losing for the past couple of weeks! How in the heck did that happen?

Anyway, things are returning to normal now so you can expect the usual daily amount of hot dishes and pin-up eye candy!

Here's to a new (less stressful) week!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Calling in Fat

I must be going to Waist

Dear Boss,

I regret to inform you that I am unable to come to work today. You see, I am suffering from a terrible affliction called Can't-Fit-Into-A-Damned-Thing-in-my-Closet. While I realize that this condition is not contagious, the terrible mood associated with it can be passed along quite easily and I would hate to spread that to the rest of the staff. Also, I am quite sure that you would not want me there wearing the one thing that does still fit me: my own skin. No, it would not be a good thing to sit at one's desk totally naked now, would it? I daresay it might frighten the clients!

Therefore, I feel it is in the best interests of all concerned if I spend some time alone at home, taking my misery out on the treadmill instead of yourself and my co-workers.

I know you'll understand. I'll see you in a couple of weeks when I am 5 pounds thinner and therefore able to squeeze my fat ass into something appropriate.

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Moonlight Walk

"Show a little faith, there's magic in the night...."
~Bruce Springsteen, Thunder Road

That was the song playing on my i-pod early this morning as I strode down my neighborhood streets, dodging raindrops and loving every minute of it! You see, despite the fact that I'm a Leo and therefore a Sun sign, I am really a moon girl. I love walking in the late night or early morning when la luna is glowing, it's cool and quiet. I can think, meditate, or just turn up the music and turn my brain off for a while. Once the sun has risen, I have no interest in being outdoors unless it's in my pool or on a beach. It's just too freakin' hot! Maybe I'm a vampire? *wink*

Also, I enjoy waking up and having coffee with Beren before he heads off to work and that doesn't leave much time for a walk. However, he's on a new work schedule now and is leaving the house by 6:30 so guess what? If I get up and put on my workout clothes while he gets dressed, I can still share our morning java time & then hit the pavement while he's pulling out of the driveway. It's still a bit dark outside and today I had the added bonus of a light rain to keep me cool. Perfect!

Off to the office for me, have a ton of work to catch up on. As far as dinner plans, it's Pizza Night for the Man and the Kids and I'd planned on leftovers for myself but, alas, the post-vacation fridge is pretty bare! Apparently when Mama isn't here the little darlings do more dining out than in. Instead, I'm going to make myself a nice salad so that I don't feel deprived while they're devouring that cheesey goodness. This recipe for Chicken and Strawberries Over Mixed Greens looks delicious and refreshing. After a light dinner, maybe I'll feel like taking another Vampira moonlit walk...heh..heh..heh...

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tire-d Out!

I got up early this morning, had my coffee and prepared for the inevitable awfulness of back-to-work-after-vacation. Ate breakfast, dressed and headed out the door only to find that Bettie has a flat tire. Uh-oh. Of course Beren was already at the office and as I do not have tire-changing skills, I was forced to call AAA. And so here I sit, tapping my toes and passing time while waiting for the service man.

I figured I should make wise use of my time, not just while away the hour(s) fiddling around on the internet, so I made my weekly menu...

Monday ~ Pasta with Chickpea-Tomato Sauce
Tuesday ~ Take-out Pizza for the Family, Leftovers for me!
Wednesday ~ Shrimp Florentine With Pasta
Thursday ~ Lentil "Sausage" Casserole
Friday ~ Easy Tilapia with Wine and Tomatoes
Saturday ~ Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Basil and Tomato
Sunday~ BBQ, recipes TBD

Oops, I think the serviceman is here, see you later!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Soggy Sunday

Well, we ended our vacation early, figured it was best to cut our losses and move on. We arrived home late last night, visited with my kids for a few and then happily climbed into bed.

I got up early this morning, had hoped for a pool day but, alas, Mother Nature has other plans. Instead of a bathing suit I donned my cleaning clothes and got to work on the post-vacation process, unpacking, etc. as well as preparing for the coming work week.

I did a kitchen inventory and started making a menu & shopping list, will post more tomorrow but in the meantime here's what I'll be making for dinner tonight, courtesy of Martha Stewart. (yep, that really is Ms. Stewart up there, during her heyday modeling career!)

Black-Bean-and-Corn Stew

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4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion -- chopped
4 garlic cloves -- minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 1/2 ounces chopped green chiles -- (canned)
30 ounces canned black beans -- rinsed and drained
30 ounces canned diced tomatoes -- in juice
Coarse salt
10 ounces frozen corn

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion; cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.

To the pan, add chiles, beans, tomatoes and their juice, 2 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cups of the stew. Return the puree to the pan, and add corn; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 363 Calories; 7g Fat (16.9% calories from fat); 18g Protein; 59g Carbohydrate; 18g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1387mg Sodium.

I know, it's a million degrees outside so it doesn't seem as if stew would be welcome but it's also dark & dreary and I'm in the mood for something warm & comforting. If the rain holds off, we're going to meet some friends at an outdoor concert this afternoon, hoping to end the week on a positive note. With that in mind, I'm going to toss the ingredients into my crockpot so it'll be ready for us when we return home this evening.

Hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday so far..


Saturday, August 7, 2010


As I've mentioned, when I get all tangled up in ugly emotions I often turn to the kitchen for therapy. Yesterday I pulled out one of my new favorite cookbooks, Claire's Italian Feast by Claire Criscuolo. Since I have a garden full of mint that shouldn't be used exclusively on mojitos..wink..I decided to whip up my version of her White Bean and Mint Salad:

White Bean and Mint Salad

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30 ounces great northern beans, canned
3 large garlic -- finely chopped
4 tomatoes -- cut into cubes
1 small sweet onion -- finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh mint -- coarsely chopped
salt and pepper -- to taste

Drain and rinse beans, turn into a bowl

Add the garlic, tomatoes, and onion and toss to mix. Drizzle the oil evenly on top, toss gently to combine. Scatter the mint leaves over the salad; add salt and pepper, and toss gently but thoroughly. Taste for seasonings. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.
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Serves 6. Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 229 Calories; 5g Fat (20.3% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 15mg Sodium.

Oooh, this was delicious! A perfect summertime lunch or side dish, cool and refreshing...yummy!

While I was preparing the salad I also put dinner in the crockpot..sorry I don't have a picture of the finished product but it was very tasty as well!

Slow Cooker Chicken with Black Beans and Sweet Potato

-------- ------------ --------------------------------
4 chicken breast halves without skin
2 tsp ground cumin
1 dash salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa
3 garlic cloves -- chopped
15 ounces canned black beans -- rinsed and drained
4 medium sweet potatoes -- peeled and cut into 2" chunks

Mix all the ingredients with the exception of chicken, beans and sweet potatoes in a bowl. In the slow cooker, combine the beans and sweet potatoes. Place the chicken on top of the mixture, then pour broth mixture over the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Serve over cooked brown rice if desired.

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 384 Calories; 3g Fat (8.1% calories from fat); 37g Protein; 49g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 68mg Cholesterol; 799mg Sodium.

I did enjoy one small indulgence yesterday, $4 martinis at our favorite happy hour spot here in Daytona!

Overall, we were able to (mostly) recover from the rocky start to our vacation. We intend to do the same today!

How about you? How are you spending this lovely Saturday?


Friday, August 6, 2010


Due to some very upsetting family drama, this vacation is not turning out quite as we had planned. I'm going to lick my wounds for a bit, will be back later with (hopefully) a better attitude.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August Already?

Can you believe it is August already? The summer is flying by!

As of today, Beren and I are on vacation, arrived at the Ormond house late last night. While vacations can typically be very dangerous for diets, it's much easier when the destination is your own full-equipped home. While I'm sure we will go out for a couple of meals, I plan to cook most of our meals so I have no excuse for holiday weight gain!

With this in mind, I got up this morning and surveyed the food stockpile, found it sorely lacking in fresh fruits, veggies and lean protein - staples of a "clean" diet. I also have to keep in mind the taste buds of Beren's girls who are with us this week. I might have mentioned their aversion to vegetables and reliance on processed garbage (they consider Pop-Tarts a food group) and while I won't contribute to their poor eating habits, I do need to ensure that they eat something while in my care. I'm confident that tonight's dinner won't be devoured by them but hopefully it won't be met with disgust either. (God, how I hate the teen years!)

The original recipe can be found here, I adapted it slightly to make it mostly-vegetarian and a bit healthier.

"Sausage" Pasta
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3/4 pound whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces meatless sausage crumbles
1 medium onion -- chopped
4 cloves garlic -- minced
14 1/2 ounces fat-free chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
14 1/2 ounces canned diced tomatoes
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and reserve.

In a large skillet, heat oil and sausage crumbles; cook through until thawed. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Add broth, basil and tomatoes with liquid.

Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to slightly reduce. Add chopped spinach; cover skillet and simmer on reduced heat until spinach is tender.

Add pasta to skillet and mix together. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

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Serves 4 (generously). Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 438 Calories; 8g Fat (14.8% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 77g Carbohydrate; 12g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 812mg Sodium.

Have a Beauty-Full Day,